As I’m sure a lot of you know from previous posts that I’m quite the avid reader, I always purchase more books than I can handle but each one goes in to my bookcase or office with the intention of being read. One thing I don’t buy usually are fictional books, most of the ones I purchase are based upon factual subjects, maybe it’s a craft book, on design methods, or lately the ideals of mingei and teaism.
Without sounding slightly ‘hippy’, I’m going to chat a bit about teaism and a book that I’ve been reading this week titled ‘The Book of Tea’ by Kakuzo Okakura. Written in 1906, this piece is not only eye opening but also extremely relevant today. I guess without going into the nitty gritty of teaism it’s about tea and how it’s more than a drink, the tea ceremony is practiced to promote harmony with nature, to discipline the mind, quiet the heart, and attain the purity of enlightenment. It’s something I’ve never fully understood, but reading through the book it really made me think about the Japanese way of life, and linking this to craft, it also made me appreciate their ceramics and lacquerware in more than just a materialistic fashion.
As you can imagine a lot of people frown at me when I speak about the concept of our shop, and maybe what they would call our ‘business model’. A non-materialistic shop doesn’t sound like it could be achieved, since at the end of the day we’re selling objects to purchase, but when I came across this store in Japan named Jikonka it really opened my eyes. They’ve got a beautiful selection of products that really connected with me, each one is individual and quirky, very much reminds me of the Japanese tea ceremony itself. I love seeing shops like this, especially when they have three physical stores, one in Tokyo, another in Seki, and a final one in Taipei, it’s great to see they’re spreading their philosophy around. It’s just a shame you don’t get more places like this over here in Europe.
I get a sense that Jikonka collects and works with the important objects in life, the things you can’t do without. So I decided to select some pieces that I thought were really incredible and inspiring personally, you can then obviously make your way towards the Jikonka website to see what you think of the others. Fantastic stuff!